After MANY online poker rooms closed to US residents following the enactment of the SAFE Port Act, there was an exodus of many, many, many [bad] players to some of the more quality poker rooms like UltimateBet and Bodog (My usual stomping grounds). - With the arrival of so many refugees, the number of bad beats and illogical poker plays increased exponentially and so I grew quite tired of playing online. As such, I hadn't played for a good time.
Strangely enough, the shutdown of money transfers to the remainder of the online poker rooms using Neteller (probably the MOST popular way to fund your online accounts) in January actually, I think, made depositing money in online rooms sufficiently inconvenient for the hoi polloi that the total number of players has reduced considerably. Thus, the quality of play has risen again, somewhat. Sure, there are still MANY donkeys playing, but their numbers are much more manageable now.
It's a fantastic thing when you can sit down at a table with 2, maybe 3 donkeys on it, since you know you can make money from them, but when you sit at a 9-player table, and are faced with 8 donkeys, you may as well go back to playing slots.
To cut a long story short, I made a deposit exactly a week ago today, and have in that time tripled my money. It feels good to do that again because for a while there the incogitable amount of bad beats was having a big impact on my confidence as a reasonably good player. I'd gone, in the past year, from 90% chance of profit every time I deposited, to a 95% chance of complete loss with every transaction. (At least for the last 3 or 4 months)
So, I'm happy to say that I believe online poker is a credible pastime again and I intend on playing quite a bit more. I joined Ed this weekend also for some free play at the Lodge in Dallas which was a lot of fun. Legend has it that it's the 'best free game in Dallas' - and I'm inclined to believe that. However, it's still a free game, and is still only as good as its worth. I do intend on going again at some point, as it's always nice to mix it up with real people and practice real table patience, feeling those cards and chips, and trying to get reads on people and their habits. Something you definitely lose when playing online.
I feel another trip to Choctaw coming on :)